Thursday, December 8, 2016

A Hometown Christmas in Marble Hill, Missouri

At the edge of the world, there is the tiny town of Marble Hill, Missouri - okay really we are not at the edge of the world, but that is what my darling husband likes to say.....yes locals, he is foreigner!  

Tonight we drove through McDonald's for some ice cream and did what my parents did years ago - drove around our "edge of the world" tiny town and looked at Christmas Lights!  

As we drove, my heart was proud of our "edge of the world"  tiny town and the love, cheer, and pride that is displayed for all to see.  

You see I live in a town that.......

Proudly has The Nativity on display at....

Our County Courthouse!  

This makes me smile that I live in a community that can share our beliefs without worry or fear! 

Across the street from the Bollinger County Courthouse stands Wicecarver Store; no longer open for business, but proudly putting smiles on the kid's faces with all the pretty lights and decor!  

I am not an expert on Wicecarver Store, but what I do know is the store front is decorated beautifully every holiday season by the loving hands of Ms Trankle and Ms Cooper!  
Secretly I drive by daily just so I can admire the lovely building! 

Farther up the road from the Bollinger County Courthouse, you will make a left at the stop sign and continue on High Street - you find this: 

So many pretty lights....

Decorated with care....

And hours of love and care - just for us to enjoy! 

The lights do not stop there! 

No direct route to this house, located on Gilmore Street (behind Marble Hill Medical Center) is this house!  Creative I say, these people must be related to Santa!! 

In the middle of town, Magnolia Park stands this lovely tree - I might be a bias, but only because this tree was decorated by the community coming together for the community!  

Tree sponsored by The Bollinger County Chamber of Commerce - all lights donated by community members

Other must see streets in Marble Hill, Missouri include - 
Graham Street - location of The Mustard Seed - beautiful lights! 
The Mayfield Cultural Center - the tree in the window is stunning! 
Twin City Park in the middle of town,
The Marble Hill Water Tower - you will not see it at night, but you will see the star!   

Saturday, November 19, 2016

The Mother-In-Law.....

A few nights ago I tweeted a bragging tweet about letting my mother-in-law plan Thanksgiving, some said "that is the way to go" others responded with opposite opinions of their mother-in-laws....
Trey and his parents Snow White & PawPaw Tom
Photo Credit Elizabeth Rae Photography

I must say when God blessed me with my husband, he double blessed me with an amazing mother-in-law....and no I am not just buttering up because it is almost Christmas.

Why I want to be like my mother-in-law

Most of all, she raised my husband to be an amazing husband, even when he is battling a strong minded quick with her tongue wife - he is still amazing.

She fills in gaps, she is there when I can't be, rather it be work, illness, or traveling she picks up where I can't and cooks, cleans, or hugs necks when needed.

She puts up with our craziness; from dealing with D-man, shopping with Lesse, or watching Trey and I pick at each other - she stands at the sideline and smiles.

She has a listening ear and a kind heart; she has listened to me rattle on and on about all life's struggles, but never placed judgment or reprimanded me for my fails.

She is really good at keeping The Tom Selfie Page page a secret from my father-in-law.  :-)

She knew very little about basketball, but became a HUGE Jr High Girls Basketball Fan.

She spoils my kids even though she does not have to - last week  D-man rolled down his window and yelled "I love you Snow White" and I heard her yell back "I love you" - and she does.

She never appears to be stressed out - ever!  Even when the kids are bouncing off the walls or Trey and I are trying to pull something over on her, she just smiles!

She is strong, smart, and has great taste in clothes - just ask Lesse, she has become Lesse's favorite shopping buddy!

She knows the little things matter - even when we don't say anything at all....

And this list could go on for eternity....

So to my mother-in-law, I do not say this enough, but thank you and I love being your daughter-in-law!

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Do not let me rest..I beg of you!

Tonight I make a confession (not the first time), I have not been writing much lately...I am at a loss for words.  Loss - not writers block.  

I have had no motivation to talk about travel, I have been barely functioning through my college classes, and even some of my Facebook post have been a struggle.

My heart has been torn, I am weak - not just sick, I am unfocused - not just
daydreaming, I am confused, and I am tired.

I have prayed, searched, read spoke, and attempted to chat with others - sometimes they just don't get it, sometimes I think they believe I am silly, sometimes they just blow me off. 

Recently I was talking to Bi-polar - schizophrenic woman (I only knew this because she told me) - she had lost her baby, was scared, confused, alone - did you hear that ALONE.

I know what alone feels like - it is that moment that no one wants you, likes you, cares rather you live or die.  Alone is when you are not living with Christ......

My heartaches - my head pounds - I have cried out dear lord "why do these people not know you"

I have realized I am spoiled, very spoiled! I drive a nice car, live in a nice house, tuck my kids into bed most nights, go to bed with a full belly, sleep with peace that my doors are locked - my house is warm - and there will be fresh coffee in the morning, I have friends to whine to about my problems, I can text my husband all hours of the day! I am a BRAT......a spoiled undeserving brat!

I have came to terms with this stirring in my heart - I am not content with just "being me" I am not "serving to my highest potential" I must do more.  I must tell more, I must meet more, love more, give more...

If I know you, if I have met you, if I have spoke to you, if I have passed you on the road, if you are reading this.....I want to see you in heaven.  I want you to be a child of God.

I know God will not let me rest if I am idle in my duty - so this is it.  If I am not showing up at your BBQ, event, shopping center, if I miss your message/text/tweet - it is because that is not where I need to be.  

There are people in my town, maybe on my street - that don't know God!  This is not good, they need to know, they need to not be alone, they need to be loved.  I have prayed that God puts these people in my path - give me someone or 20 someones to show love to daily, to share grace with, and offer wisdom to.  

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Snapchat - Read Privacy Policy!

Tonight I had a long discussion about Snapchat Etiquette and what we didn't read when we signed up for Snapchat! On the terms of service Snapchat says:
"Of course, you’ll also provide us whatever information you send through the services, such as Snaps and Chats to your friends. Keep in mind that the users you send Snaps, Chats, and any other content to can always save that content or copy it outside the app. So, the same common sense that applies to the Internet at large applies to Snapchat as well: Don’t send messages or share content that you wouldn’t want someone to save or share."

LET ME REPEAT: Don’t send messages or share content that you wouldn’t want someone to save or share!
So parents & kids when you are snapping away those selfies - remember they never really go away!

Sunday, October 23, 2016

21 Things I Wish I Could Just Tell You...

I am a people watcher, my husband says it is due to my former "real job" I am not sure he is 100% accurate, but my former career did teach me to be very alert at all times.  Watching people can be fun, but it can also be depressing - especially when watching our youth.  This world is so harsh - and without the right mindset, it could really mess you up.

As I am walking away from my people watching sessions - I often think "there is so much I wish I could just tell you"....I mean I could tell them, but most times they would think I was just crazy, nosy,
or opinionated.

I have formulated - rethought - wrote - deleted - rewrote - edited - and still may delete this list of things I wish I could tell the young women of this world.

1.  It does not matter if you have a date for winter formal, prom, homecoming, or any other dance!  Go have fun, in 20 years that dance will not be important and your date or no date will be forgotten.

2.  You are PRICELESS, so priceless that God sent his only son to die for you.   Do not let anyone ever tell you different - ANYONE.

3.  You are IMPORTANT, you may not be the smartest, prettiest, richest, best dancer, or even best walker, but you are so important that God knows every hair on your head.

4.  Your body is beautiful, so beautiful that you should not share it unwisely.  Boys will ask to see a little more (not men - because real would not treat a lady that way) - say no!  Do not cheapen yourself to their standards - if they are asking for this, they will not be in for the long investment.

5.  Girls - other girls and yourself are dramatic, hateful, mean, and spiteful - this will never change!

6.  Your Mom is probably right - especially if she cares enough to advise you about sensitive subjects.

7.  Leading a guy on is a bad idea - it gives you a reputation and a false sense of security.

8.  You are pretty with your clothes on, you do not have to show a little more cleavage, leg, booty, or anything else to be pretty.

9.  Sexting is degrading - I am not even sure they call it sexting anymore.  Apparently it is casual to talk nasty to each other.  Well, if that is casual conversation - do not do it.  Have intellectual conversations that will increase your brain activity.

10.  While you may feel on top of world while you are wrapped in his arms or hearing his "sweet words"  that feeling will end.

11.  You do not have to be connected to your friends 24/7 - you are missing out of a whole lot of life because of them. It is okay to hang out with your mom, grandma, the ladies from church, or even the elderly lady down the street.

12.  Spend time with older people (over the age of 50) they may seem "not up to date" but they have so much wisdom you need to absorb.

13.  Have a hobby - besides texting - learn to sew, cook, paint, draw, or even start a blog!

14.  Read a book, a good book that will inspire you to do more.  This world is so full of crap and nastiness - it is good to tone it out and read something simple.

15.  Dreams are good - fantasies are bad.   It is healthy to dream about having an amazing job, it is not healthy to fantasize about boys.

16.  The whole world is not having sex - you will not be weird if you are a virgin on your wedding day.   Your wedding night will mean so much more if you share your body only with your husband.

17.  Snapchats do not always go away!  There is no guarantee that every snap you send gets deleted.

18.  Doing chores is preparing you for the future - had my parents never made me learn to cook, my kids would starve.

19.  Pornography causes brain damage - the next time a boy ask for a naked picture ( real men do not ask for these things) - tell him that it is in his best interest not see you naked - it could give him brain damage.

20.  Playing every sport and being at every event will not make you a more successful adult - it will exhaust your parents and distract your real focus in life.

21.  Read your Bible, Pray Daily, and Go to involved with your youth group, serve on a mission, and do things outside of your comfort zone, but in God's plan.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

6 places in Cape Girardeau, Missouri to Photograph this October.

The Bill Emerson Memorial Bridge in Pink- this was shot from the Red Star Boat Launch.  During the month of October the bridge is pink in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness.  Spectacular views can be seen from the riverfront in Downtown Cape Girardeau, Missouri.  

The Bald Knob Cross from Trail of Tears State Park lookout - on a clear day, with a good camera or a set of binoculars you can see the Bald Knob Cross from the lookout at Trail of Tears State Park.  You have to look closely or it will blend in.  

Trail of Tears State Park - rather you decide to lace of up your hiking boots or just visit the lookout the park is full of fall color.  

Cape Girardeau Nature Center has this amazing little hiking trail behind the building - few know how many fall features you can find on the trail.  

Main Street in Downtown Cape Girardeau at sunrise.  Any other time of day this place would be full of people, cars, and noise.  At sunrise you can sneak peaceful images like this! 

The Bill Emerson Memorial Bridge at Sunrise - while it is worth seeing in pink it is also worth seeing with your first cup of coffee!  

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

DaZe in a MaZe Pumpkin Patch near Enid Oklahoma

We were out numbered by kids - or maybe the kids had more energy than we did!  After what felt like hours of searching, my brother in law insisted we take the kids to the pumpkin patch - and I was glad he did.

Down a twisty Oklahoma back road outside of Enid, Oklahoma there is a small farm called DaZe in a MaZe  - now I have been to several pumpkin patches and family farms, but I have never been to one with a 7 acre corn maze!  Impressive if you ask me!

The farm offers 2 corn mazes; one that is 7 acres and semi difficult, another that is 6 acres - well we never finished that one - we took the easy way out!  A hay maze that the kids loved.  Zip-line - none of our crew was brave enough...hmm!  A petting zoo - where our girls spent most of the time! Among the grounds there is places to climb, play, dig, and picnic - definitely a place you could spend the day!

The mini-horse licked D. 

The indoor hay maze for little ones! 

Mom there is a tiger in the corn! 

So much energy to run off! 

Zip-line over the corn-patch!  Not my kids - but we got to watch others! 

Somehow we felt bigger on the hay bales - Trey Photo bomb! 

The Pumpkin Patch - since we had to drive back to Missouri we did not get a pumpkin!